Fun Gifts to Send in the Mail – Kimball Corner

We’re moving into the holiday season, which means that gifting is on the mind. Not all our loved ones are close, however, which means that often gifting has to take place over many miles. This can be a wonderful opportunity to shine — send them “gift packs,” themed gift boxes and special sentiments that they’ll be delighted to receive.

It doesn’t really get a whole lot better than discovering an unexpected gift at the mail. With the plethora of bills, responsibilities and junk that often arrives via post, isn’t it lovely to receive something fun? This is especially true in recent times, when everyday life has seemed, well, a bit gloomy. Go ahead — make somebody’s day. Send a small gift and spread some joy.

Looking to surprise that someone you love with a “just because” gift? Searching for ideas for fun gifts to send in the mail for the holidays? We’ve gathered some of our favorite ideas here that will make anyone’s day.

Themed Boxes

For friends, family and loved ones who love their baths, consider putting together a “Spa Day” basket or gift box and include items that they can use to relax and unwind. Include a bottle of deliciously scented bubble bath, a bath pouf or loofah, a box of relaxing chamomile tea, some cookies and a personalized mug in which they can enjoy their beverage while soaking. Consider our popular bath pouf belt with handles, which allows you to clean those hard-to-reach places (like the back) with ease. Add a special bar of gentle soap, such as our goat milk based manuka honey soap from Natures® CommonScents. Our Personalized Tea Bag Mug is perfect to send in a “Spa Day” gift basket — it is easy to personalize with your loved one’s name and provides a side “pocket” that holds a used tea bag after it has seeped for the preferred amount of time. We think they’ll thank you for the reminder that they should stop, take a moment to themselves and relax.

Gifts for Hobbyists

Everyone has a friend who has a special activity that they enjoy. Whether it is knitting, crocheting, coloring, painting or puzzles, this fact can be a great starting point for a gift to send in the mail. Take an activity or hobby that someone loves to do and create a thoughtful gift or gift box to send. For example: know someone who loves to color? Get a new coloring book along with a set of special gel pens, new colored pencils or crayons. There’s something wonderful, thrilling and inspiring about receiving brand-new coloring utensils. Miles Kimball has great options for coloring books in our Hobbies and Books department — check out our selection of coloring books available that will keep your friends and family busy. Puzzles are also a great gift to send in the mail. See a new, interesting puzzle that someone on your gift-giving list would love here in our Puzzles and Trivia nook? Choose a new puzzle to send and include some puzzle glue so that they can preserve the piece that they spent so many hours on. Have someone who is looking for a new way to create something beautiful? Don’t miss our Brain Games Sticker by Number books. These popular books can be something to send to a coloring book fanatic so they can try out something new and exciting.

Gardening Glory

For a friend or family member who just can’t wait for gardening season, consider gathering some unique gardening gifts to send. Add some seeds, wind chimes or other outdoor garden décor and garden accessories to your gift box. Check out our Gardening Tools and lawn tools to see if there is something that they could both love and incorporate into their gardening care routine, such as a new pair of gardening shoes or gloves. For a thoughtful gift, consider one of our garden flags — many which can be personalized. Create a seasonal gift box and add a garden flag to it that corresponds with the season. These quick and easy ways to incorporate movement and color into gardens are a tried-and-true favorite here and are highly recommended here at Kimball Corner. Consider seasonal gifts with some unique yard stakes and figurines — a delight to add to any garden. Decorative garden stakes are also a quick and easy way to brighten up a space and to make great gifts for the outdoor garden décor enthusiast on your gift list. Think seeds are not too interesting and not that exciting to send as gifts in the mail? Think again. Check out our Plants and Garden Rolls, available at Miles Kimball. Developed by a horticulturist, they can be tailored to interests, such as wildflowers or butterflies. They can also be bought for some specific microclimate needs, such as shady areas, sunny areas or ground cover. Of course, everyone loves hanging flowerpots — especially when they’re low maintenance. Check out our realistic artificial flower hanging baskets that come perfectly assembled and ready to hang. These gems are ideal for spaces that are notoriously inhospitable to plants and flowers.

Just Because

Enter into your shopping trips, even to the grocery store, keeping your eyes open for specials and sales. See something that “reminds” you of someone? Buy it. There doesn’t need to be a reason; sometimes the most unexpected surprises are the best. Add a note with a personalized note card or stationery that explains why the item you bought made you think of him or her. These little “just because” gifts don’t have to be much: decorative napkins and pretty paper plates, cute notepads, coffee mugs, pretty journals, interesting-looking books or home décor. Sometimes the best places to find fun gifts are in the checkout lanes. See a magazine you think a friend will love? A decorative lip balm? A travel-sized lotion or cute hand sanitizer keychain? Sometimes these little gifts will cost a bit more to mail than they were to purchase; however, the happiness that these little gifts will inspire will mean so much. We guarantee it. Check out the Special Offers or Sale sections of our departments at Miles Kimball to see if anything here “reminds” you of someone you love. It’s easy to spread love and happiness when you get creative with gifts you send in the mail. Have you received a spectacular in the mail? Share a memorable gift you received in the mail below.

Thanksgiving Dinnerware & Table Décor Ideas

What’s your favorite thing about Thanksgiving? Is it the cozy, comforting spices, like nutmeg, cardamom and anise, blended together into your favorite beverages, desserts and dishes? Or is it the warmth of those Thanksgiving dinnerware décor colors — muted sages, golden yellows, brilliant crimsons — that are incorporated into styles that range from whimsical to traditional? From everyday meals as a family to large Thanksgiving meal gatherings, we love a good opportunity to spice up a tabletop with festive colors, designs and goodies that will help you make the most of your memories together.

Thanksgiving Dinnerware and Tabletop Décor Ideas

Thanks to Miles Kimball, your fall and Thanksgiving dinnerware tabletop décor options have never been easier. We offer a fantastic selection of Thanksgiving dinnerware and fall items that will dress up everything from your dining room table to your landscaping. We’ve brought together some Thanksgiving holiday table tips and tricks, so you brighten these spaces up quickly and easily and add some fun to your dinner. You can even enlist your smallest family members to participate in dressing your family’s Thanksgiving Day table. Read on for some tips to make this year’s Thanksgiving dinner your family’s most memorable!

Choose Fun, Functional Thanksgiving Table Covers

There’s something appealing about fully draping your dining room table in the colors of the season. These Thanksgiving-inspired table covers and colorful tablecloths also pull double duty: they not only look great and add a simple, all-in-one décor option, they also help protect your table from everyday wear, spills and mishaps. Choose a waterproof, durable Thanksgiving tablecloth that has a soft cotton fabric back that will help keep your table in top shape, preventing scratches, indentations and moisture damage. Bonus: When you incorporate an autumn-inspired tablecloth to your Thanksgiving tabletop décor, cleanup is super-quick and easy.

From drop tablecloths and table covers in multiple shapes and sizes to our ultra-convenient Falling Leaves Blessings elasticized tablecloth that has elastic edging for non-slip security, our effortless décor items take only an instant to swap out for each occasion. Choose a high-quality table cover that is warm and inviting. With our selection of tablecloths and table covers at Miles Kimball, you have a great choice of patterns, designs and colors that will add so much to your table.

Thanksgiving Kitchen Essentials

There’s nothing like the Thanksgiving main course, of course. Thanksgiving is a time to bring out your family’s favorite culinary traditions to be enjoyed by all generations. What’s your favorite Thanksgiving Day treat? Is it your grandma’s sweet potato pie? Mashed potatoes? Turkey or ham? Luckily, Miles Kimball has the kitchen essentials that will help create these items. Need measuring spoons, liquid and dry measuring cups or cooking aprons? What about glassware, dinnerware sets or silverware? Miles Kimball has the kitchen must-haves to create a spectacular Thanksgiving meal that your entire family will be talking about for years to come. Don’t forget to shop our food and candy selections for everything from appetizers to after-dinner drinks for the kids. Shop here for cheese spread, caramel candy, coconut macaroons and hot chocolate. Yum!

Thanksgiving Table Décor

With so many options in Thanksgiving décor options available today, creating a festive Thanksgiving tabletop has never been easier. Shop the traditional tabletop finds and add some of Miles Kimball’s favorites, such as William Roberts designs, tabletop must-haves and special occasion add-ons (like our acrylic leaf-shaped gems) that will add an extra-special touch to your Thanksgiving décor. Love the look of fall flowers yet don’t like the mess or the upkeep of fresh flowers? Decorating with the colorful look of mums is easy and hypoallergenic when you use our artificial mum bush by Oakridge™ to add instant color to your Thanksgiving table. (This is also a great option for those who cannot tolerate fresh flowers because of allergies.)

Our artificial mums are available in some of the season’s most vibrant colors, such as gold, rust, yellow, cream and purple. Add these realistic-looking artificial flowers to our personalized “Grateful, Thankful, Blessed” wooden planter box for a rustic centerpiece. These lovely mums can also be added to one of our personalized stoneware crocks. Check out our other unique Thanksgiving accessories that feature the delightful scenes of the season, available at Miles Kimball.

A Family Affair: Thanksgiving DIY Tabletop

Incorporate some fun finds from your kids’ nature walks to your Thanksgiving tabletop décor. Take advantage of fall’s rustic décor options by leaving the decorating task to the littles of your family. Send them outside with bowls and buckets to collect pretty pinecones. These lovely textured pieces can be left au naturale; they can also be spray painted (with an adult’s help, of course) gold for a tabletop centerpiece addition that is guaranteed to pop. Kids also love collecting colorful maple leaves, acorns, fallen magnolia pods or other nature-inspired finds from their neighborhoods. You can even find good (and great smelling) decorating options in your pantry (think cinnamon sticks and anise stars). For a super-simple minimalist lighted centerpiece option, have children collect sticks and other downed branches. Tie them together with a piece of raffia and add them to a clear glass centerpiece vase, along with some battery-operated string lights, for a delightful, easy piece.

Unique Thanksgiving Tabletop Décor

Since 1935, Miles Kimball has been dedicated to bringing you charming, nostalgic and unique décor items that will set the tone for your holidays. We’ve been part of the Thanksgiving dinnerware and décor tradition for American families for decades, and we’re proud to offer the best selection of essential home products and décor. We’re all for making memories throughout the entire year. Stop back often to get ideas for your home, décor and other special family times at Kimball Corner.

Do you have a special family Thanksgiving meal or décor tradition? Leave a comment below to let us know something your family does to make Thanksgiving memorable!

Top 7 Thanksgiving Kitchen Gadgets

The holidays are the time of the year when you can flex those culinary muscles. Thanksgiving is your chance to shine: bring out those family-favorite recipes, both new and old. It’s a time for traditions — for both those old-fashioned traditions as well as newly created traditions. Regardless of the details, the highlight of Thanksgiving is often the food. Thanksgiving is the time to add those sweet details to savory dishes (cranberries or raisins in stuffing, anyone?) and to experiment with cool kitchen gadgets that make your life easier. Let’s get ready. Incorporate some of your favorite Thanksgiving and fall home décor, create a welcoming table and let’s talk about some fantastic kitchen gadgets that no kitchen should be without this Thanksgiving holiday.

Miles Kimball’s Top 7 Picks for the Must-Have Gadgets for This Thanksgiving

#1: A Quality Baster

Whether you’re a turkey fanatic or opt for ham, no kitchen should be without a high-quality baster. Our Chef’s Pride multi-function turkey and barbeque baster set comes within everything you need to keep those meats juicy. Are you a baster? A brusher? A flavor-infuser? Whatever your method is for maintaining that optimal flavor and tenderness during cooking, this baster set has what you need to create something amazing. One of the biggest woes about basters is their cleaning. No worries — this baster set comes with its own cleaning brush, so you can maintain cleanliness without hassle.

#2: A Marble Cheese Slicer

Appetizers are the mainstay of every holiday home. And who doesn’t like cheese? Everyone knows that those store-bought cheese trays are at least twice as expensive than buying blocks of cheese and doing it yourself. Those store-made options also can be quite boring. With your own marble cheese slicer, you can incorporate gourmet cheeses and meats into your finger foods. Cut your own gouda, asiago, experiment with cheddars, add some brie and some blue cheese. Then, throw on some almonds, Greek olives, figs, jellies and crostini. Voila. You’ll have an epic charcuterie tray and cheese board that will be the highlight of your Thanksgiving get-together.

#3: My Favorite™ Knife

Who doesn’t struggle when cutting and serving? (With Thanksgiving dinner, as you know, there’s a heck of a lot of cutting and serving.) Whether you’re cutting pies, cakes, bars, lasagna or meatloaf, My Favorite Knife will get the job done. This knife is not too big, not too small and will get into the sides of your pans with almost zero effort. Best of all? My Favorite Knife won’t scratch your non-stick pans and is heat-resistant up to 410°F.

#4: Bamboo Toast Tongs

Think these bamboo toast tongs are only for your morning toast? Think again. Although they’re fantastic for safely removing hot toast from your toaster, they’re also fantastic for serving your breads, cheeses and other foods during Thanksgiving dinner. They allow you to take one piece of bread — without the use of fingers (something that’s extra important now when we are so conscious about spreading germs.). Avoid hands and fingers touching food with this bamboo toast tong — purchase several for multiple platters. These bamboo toast tongs are also ideal to use on your charcuterie tray and cheese board (see above).

#5: Clever Food Preservers

Thanksgiving means baking (duh). With all that baking, however, comes those half-used bags of staples, such as flour and sugar. We all know that the packaging these items come in do little to keep out moisture, humidity and (eeek.) sometimes bugs. Check out our super-clever food preservers and ingenious food storage items — all which are particularly helpful around the holidays. Check out our flour and sugar keepers, pie keepers, bread keepers, bun keepers, deviled egg keepers and square and round cracker keepers. Looking for an interesting way to keep your brown sugar free from those gross dried-up clumps? Check out our set of two brown sugar preservers, made from all-natural terra cotta.

#6: Three-Piece Cooling Rack

Still looking for a good cooling rack? How about three? These stackable three-piece cooling racks make the most out of your counterspace when you’re making those gingersnap cookies for Thanksgiving dessert. They’re also great to use while making those famous Christmas cookies of yours. There will be plenty of room for those cookies to completely cool so you can move on with your family’s cookie decorating tradition.

#7: Jadite “Drippings” Bowl with Lid

Does anyone really know what to do with meat drippings? You can’t pour them down the sink and dumping them into the trash makes a huge mess. As grandma used to say: “A place for everything, and everything in its place.” We think this is ideal for drippings, as well. Whether you’re a bacon grease saver or need a secure, lidded place to drain your hamburger, this jadite drippings bowl with a lid by Home Marketplace is the perfect place to put them. You can then allow them to cool so they can be disposed up properly at a later time.

Miles Kimball for All Your Kitchen Helpers

Miles Kimball has a ton of cool kitchen gadgets that make your holiday cooking ventures easier, including measuring spoons, liquid measuring cups, cooking aprons, microwave egg cookers and dinnerware sets. From kitchen linens, towels and kitchen chair cushions to cookbooks and instant pot cookbooks, we have everything you need for a well-stocked kitchen — all throughout the year.

Trick or Treat: Outdoor Halloween Decoration Ideas

Happy Howl-O-Ween!

From its candy and its food to its outdoor decorations, costumes and décor, it’s no secret that Halloween continues to rise in popularity. Billions of dollars are spent on Halloween goodies every year. Americans clearly know how to eat, drink and be scary!

Creep it Real

Halloween’s popularity shows no sign in slowing down, and why should it? October 31 is the time of the year to express yourself, to come as you aren’t, to have some fun and to apply your creepy creativity to some outdoor spaces. Outdoor Halloween décor is easy with today’s pre-lit, whimsical and super-fun outdoor décor. Both kids and adults can get into the spook-tastic fun: Halloween is created for both the young — and the young at heart. Whether you’re bone to be wild and love your outdoor skeletons or you’re the ghostest with the mostest and love to shake your boo-ty, you’ll find some something totally awesome at Miles Kimball’s Halloween store. Below, we’ve featured some of our favorite Halloween décor and outdoor décor items that will turn the heads of neighbors and make you the talk of your town.

Light-Up Halloween Flair

When it comes to outdoor Halloween items, nothing is easier than pre-lit Halloween décor items that are just your (blood) type. If you like the look of whimsical, pre-lit holiday décor, you love the glow that these charming designs with mini lights will provide when placed in a window. All that is needed is a nearby electrical outlet and/or an extension cord for instant Halloween décor. Choose between our Black Cat and Moon Light, our charming Jack-O-Lantern Pumpkin Light or our batty “Happy Halloween” Shimmer Light.

DIY Halloween Lighting: Pumpkin Carving

Prefer DIY Outdoor Halloween lighting? You can’t get much easier (or classic) than pumpkin carving — which is the quintessential outdoor Halloween décor. Pumpkin carving has been the go-to family friendly activity for decades and allows you to be as traditional — or as unique — as you want. Whether you opt for a simple, smiling jack-o’-lantern or you spend hours creating an intricate, funny or scary scene, this staple outdoor Halloween decoration offers you hours of fun — not to mention tasty pumpkin seeds to be shared with the family.

Consider a scarecrow-themed lighted jack-o’-lantern: “sew” your pumpkin’s mouth up with twine. Turn the traditional pumpkin-carving on its head and use the “stem” of your pumpkin as your jack-o’-lantern’s nose, cutting a silly or a traditional smiling mouth below and triangle eyes above the stem. Pay homage to your four-legged furry friends by carving cat or dog paw silhouettes into your pumpkin. Want a super-easy outdoor pumpkin decoration that takes mere minutes to create? Consider spray painting multiple sizes of pumpkins and gourds gold metallic, black, silver or white and arranging them on your porch steps, patio or landscaping areas. When it comes to outdoor décor, it’s best to go big or gourd home!

Take a Gander at Outdoor Halloween Goose Decor

Everyone is talking about our Outdoor Goose and his wacky wardrobe that includes outfits for every season, including Halloween. Just in time for Halloween, our friendly neighborhood decorative goose has decided to don his Pumpkin Goose Outfit, his Witch Goose Outfit and/or his Frankenstein Goose Outfit. Pair one or more of our outdoor geese for a fantastical, fun and fa-BOO-lous outdoor garden décor looks that will add conversation starters and whimsical interest to your front yard.

Decorative Yard Stakes, Garden Flags and Halloween Garden Décor

Looking for some fun, quirky and adorable looks for your Halloween-inspired garden décor? Consider decorative garden stakes and Halloween-themed garden flags. These are almost-instant outdoor Halloween décor choices that add color, fun and whimsy to your spaces. Metal garden stakes, plant stakes and garden flags are a quick and easy way to brighten up potted plants, hanging baskets and more. Choose from several charming garden stake styles by Fox River Creations™, including Jack-O’-Lantern plant metal stake sets (which will give ‘em pumpkin to talk about), Halloween Planter Stakes Set or Metal Black Cat Stake sets. What about eye-catching Metal Witch Leg garden stakes? These’ll turn any yard, planter or landscaping island into a fun-loving “crime” scene that may require further scrutiny.

Lift Your Spirits

Halloween is about keeping your outdoor décor fun; Miles Kimball has the outdoor Halloween decorations and décor ideas to stay festive all season long. We not only carry Halloween decor, we have other holidays decorations available in our Holidays and Occasions department, including Thanksgiving and Fall looks, Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day and Patriotic holidays as well as Easter, Christmas, birthdays or Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. Many of our one-of-a-kind products are sold only here and can be personalized, which means that you’ll receive a unique décor product that is made to order. Love personalized Halloween items, gifts and décor? You’ve come to the right place for high-quality products that are meant to put you the mood for a fang-tastic Halloween!

Our Favorite Maple Cookie Recipe – Fall Maple Cookies

Maple cookies, along with a warm drink on a snappy fall evening, are a delightfully decadent treat that will warm your heart. Our favorite maple cookie recipe is easy to make yet is complex in flavor. At its heart is its maple flavor through the addition of real maple syrup — a genuine North American substance that is made from the nectar of sugar maple trees.

Maple Syrup in North America

There are a lot of legends about how maple was first discovered; however, by the time the Europeans landed in the northeast section of the Americas, the Native Americans had discovered how to extract this treasured substance out of sugar maple trees. They shared this knowledge with the Europeans who, in turn, added their skills of storage and transportation into the mix to make maple syrup a big business that has spread throughout the world.

A New England Treat

Although the Canadian province of Quebec is the top producer of maple syrup today (6.5 million gallons per year), various other New England states and Northern Midwestern are known for their production as well. Vermont leads in American production, followed by New York, Maine, Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania. Maple syrup production is a lengthy process: it takes about 43 gallons of sap to make one gallon of pure maple syrup. For this reason, many of the bottles of “maple syrup” that you see on the shelves of your local grocery store use imitation maple flavor in their recipes.

The Benefits of Maple Sugar

Although maple syrup is probably best known for its addition to breakfast foods like pancakes, French toast and waffles, it is also a fabulous choice to substitute for cane sugar in baking. Maple syrup has health benefits that other processed and refined sugars do not. Maple syrup is high in antioxidants as well as zinc, potassium, riboflavin, calcium and magnesium. Did you know that during the Civil War, Union households regularly used maple sweetener to boycott cane sugar? This is because cane sugar was a product that used slave labor in its production. Maple syrup has been used in recipes for centuries and can be used in main courses, soups, desserts and sauces. If you’re looking to substitute maple syrup for sugar, ¾ cup of maple syrup for every cup of sugar.

What Kind of Syrup Should I Use for Maple Cookies?

When you’re making our favorite maple cookies, be sure to look for real maple syrup — not just “real maple-flavored syrup” or other misleading wording on labels. The cheap “maple-flavored” stuff is a highly refined, highly processed food. Its main ingredient is often high-fructose corn syrup. Real maple syrup will cost you more because of its labor-intensive production. For each bottle of genuine maple syrup, thousands of trees were likely tapped, miles of tubing were installed, and thousands of gallons of watery maple sap were boiled in a process called “sugaring” to condense it to the product we all know and love.

So, be prepared to pay a bit more. Real maple syrup is worth it, however, even if it is a splurge. Save some of that real maple syrup for our delicious maple syrup cookies. This golden, delicious all-natural, vegan, pure and naturally healthy substance is a delicious addition to your maple cookie recipes.

Kitchen and Serving Essentials at Miles Kimball

Our maple cookie recipe makes about 60 cookies, so they are great to make and freeze or share with guests who may drop by in time for a fall afternoon treat. Serve with coffee or tea from accessories and tea boxes available at Miles Kimball. For classic percolated taste, consider a tried-and-true stainless-steel coffee percolator from Miles Kimball for perfect coffee every time. Use our Chef’s Pride Insulated Coffee Carafe to keep your coffee fresh. (Hint: Our carafes also keep hot water hot, which was quickly boiled up in our Whistling Tea Kettles by Home-Style Kitchen™.)

Maple Cookies’ Ingredients

1 cup butter, room temperature

1 cup brown sugar, packed

1 large egg

1 cup real maple syrup

2 teaspoons Watkins Pure Vanilla Extract  

2 teaspoons baking soda

½ teaspoon salt

4 cups all-purposed flour (bleached or unbleached)

1/3 cup granulated sugar (for decoration)

Maple Sugar Cookies: Step-by-Step Directions

  1. Preheat your oven to 350° F (or 175° C)
  2. Grease several cookie sheets with your preferred non-stick method (Hint: We love our baking sheet with red silicone handles by Home-Style Kitchen™)
  3. Cream butter and brown sugar together in a large bowl with our PosiGrip Stick Blender Set from Home Marketplace
  4. Add egg, maple syrup and vanilla, using measuring spoons and measuring cups, available at Miles Kimball
  5. Mix until well blended
  6. Sift flour, salt and baking soda together with our mini flour sifter by Chef’s Pride
  7. Stir into sugar mixture until well blended

At this point, some cooks have said that the dough is easier to work with if it is refrigerated for about an hour.

Shop Miles Kimball

Miles Kimball has all of the kitchen essentials and cookware you need to whip up maple cookies — or any other cookie, dessert or treat you prefer — in no time at all. We have a fantastic selection of silverware, silverware sets —even kitchen organization and storage products.

Let Us Know How Your Cookies Turned Out

Did you make our favorite maple cookie recipe? Do you have any tips or tricks to make our maple cookie recipe even better? Leave a comment below to let us know! We would love to hear from you.

Grandparents’ Day Gifts They Will Love

National Grandparents’ Day in the United States has been a relatively new addition to the parade holidays that are celebrated in this country. President Jimmy Carter signed the legislation that detailed the first Sunday after Labor Day as “National Grandparents’ Day” in August of 1978. According to the preamble of the statute, the purpose of the holiday is to “honor grandparents, to give grandparents an opportunity to show love for their children’s children, and to help children become of aware of the strength, information, and guidance older people can offer.”

National Grandparents’ Day 2020

Because of the isolation that many of our nation’s elderly experienced during the long months of quarantine, this upcoming National Grandparents’ Day is even more significant. The COVID-19 quarantine may have directly affected your parents, grandparents or other elderly members of your family in many different ways. For this reason, it is even more important to acknowledge this holiday and make it a point to celebrate National Grandparents’ Day 2020. At Kimball Corner, we’ve put together some thoughts and ideas about some gifts that grandparents will love for the National Grandparents’ Day holiday.

Personalized Outdoor Garden Flags

Everyone loves personalized gifts; grandparents are no different! Personalized gifts offer someone an extra-special product and demonstrates that you put some extra effort and thought into their selection. With Miles Kimball, it’s easy to find personalized items that your grandparents will love. You can tailor your grandparents’ hobbies, interests and pastimes into this personalized gift-giving tradition.

For a grandma or a grandpa who love their outdoor spaces, our personalized outdoor décor, garden flags, wind chimes and planters are must-sees. Check out our personalized garden flags in several styles, including our personalized “Garden of Love” garden flag, our “Patriotic Fireworks” garden flag, our personalized “Frog Garden” flag, personalized “Grandma’s Favorite Peeps” Easter garden flag or the charming custom “Tweet Hearts” garden flag. These garden flag selections can be personalized to feature the names of grandkids, which we think will utterly delight all grandparents!

Personalized Home Décor for Grandparents

Home is where your grandparents’ hearts are, so a great addition to their home is likely something that they’ll love. For veterans, our Veteran’s Flag Display Case is always a thoughtful choice to give a grandma or a grandpa who served in one of the branches of the military. Family birthdays are meant to be celebrated and with our Personalized Dates to Remember wall hanging, your grandparents will never forget whose birthday is when. For a rustic table centerpiece, planter or home decoration, they’ll love our personalized wooden planter boxes. Choose from our “God Bless America” style or our “Family Name with Year” style. These versatile, high-quality personalized wood planters are a fantastic addition to grandparents’ home and will be cherished for many years.

Personalized Photo Frames for Grandpa and Grandma

Many grandparents love showing off their grandchildren with school and special occasion photographs. There’s always a place on proud grandparents’ shelves for another picture frame that highlights their pride and joy. What’s an even better way to show off the grandkids? With a personalized photo frame, of course! At Miles Kimball, we have personalized Exposures photo frames galore in all sorts of styles. From eye catching and vibrant to rustic and understated, there’s a photo frame for all interest preferences and décor choices.

Our personalized “Gone Fishing” frame celebrates the bonding time between grandpa and his grandson or granddaughter. Don’t miss our personalized shiplap “Grandpa” frame for a high-quality addition to any mantle, shelf or table. For the best grandma ever, our “I Made it Just For You” or our personalized “English Rose” style frame allows you to feature the names of the grandkids under your favorite family picture.

Photo and Scrapbooking Items

Our Exposures photo and scrapbooking albums are top-quality ways to organize and highlight the most special moments in life. We think grandparents will love one of these albums — better yet, purchase one of these high-quality albums and their corresponding pages to create a bespoke album that highlights a special moment, such as a golden anniversary party, a special birthday or a reunion. They’ll love these thoughtful handmade gifts that were put together with love and care by the people who mean the most to them.

Letter Writer Gifts, Stationery and More

Have a grandma or a grandpa who loves to write letters and send cards? Consider making a basket of personalized address labels and stationery items that they’ll be able to use throughout the year to communicate with loved ones all over the world. Our personalized name and address labels are always a fantastic idea and come in a huge variety of styles, including patriotic red, white and blue styles, garden-themed personalized labels and religious and faith-themed address labels that feature stunning scenes and vibrant, eye-catching colors. Grandparents will love our greeting and note card products, our 24-count all-occasion greeting card sets and our notepads. In the gift basket, don’t forget to add a smooth-writing gel pen and some stamps, too!

Celebrate Relationships that Mean the Most

National Grandparents’ Day is a way to highlight and celebrate the relationship that means so much. Make this day even more special with gifts they’re sure to love. Our personalized gifts are a way to say, “I love you,” even if long distances may physically separate us. Do you have any ideas for gifts to give grandparents? Do you have a special way you celebrate your grandparents for National Grandparents’ Day? We hope you’ll share your story, gift or idea by leaving a comment below.

Top 5 Baking Must-Haves – 5 Kitchen Essentials

At Miles Kimball, we know that buying the best cookware, bakeware, microwave cookware and cool kitchen gadgets can sometime seem overwhelming. That’s why we’ve put together our favorites in these five categories that will help you get started in the kitchen on the right foot. Whether you’re looking for a useful wedding or housewarming gift or you’re starting out on your own and are stumped, we’ll help you navigate those often confusing culinary kitchen waters to help you find the most useful pieces that you should not be without.

#1: Cookware Must-Haves

Humans cannot live on takeout alone. Even if you’re experience in the kitchen is limited to fried or scrambled eggs, a frying pan or a skillet is a must-have in the kitchen. Skillets are even better when they come with lids. Miles Kimball offers many different styles and skillet products, including our set of three ceramic copper non-stick fry pans, our 12” ceramic sauté pan with a glass lid and our 8” ceramic non-stick pan. They can be used to fry hamburgers, make grilled cheese sandwiches, brown meat and more. They can also be used in the oven to make those super-convenient premade chocolate chip cookies.

To boil pasta, a lidded sauce pot or a stock pot with a lid is a must have. Shop our 8-quart stockpots or our 3-quart ceramic non-stick saucepan. To obtain just about everything needed in one fell swoop, we offer both eight-piece copper cookware and 6-piece non-stick cookware sets. These sets include just about all of the cookware you may need in the kitchen. Check out Miles Kimball for our cookware selections for additional accessories and items, too.

#2: The Best Bakeware

Even if you’re not planning on baking a cake or preparing muffins from scratch, having certain bakeware items on hand if you pick up a just-add-water or oil mix at your local grocer will be necessary. Cake mixes and muffin mixes are super-easy and can be whipped up in minutes, even by children, and make fantastic after-school treats or rainy-day snacks. They also are great activities to enjoy with kids, grandkids, nieces and nephews.

With our 12-cup muffin pan from Home-Style Kitchen™, you’ll be able to properly whip up some muffins or cupcakes from the comfort of your own home. And thanks to the red silicone handles, our muffin pans will be cool to the touch. Baking sheets are also an essential part of a well-stocked kitchen. Baking sheets can be used to make cookies and can also be used to bake meats, chicken breasts, veggies and more. Looking for something a little out of the ordinary? Check out our 10” fluted cake pan, which will transform the most basic cake recipes into an extraordinary creation.

At Miles Kimball, we have something that all bakers will enjoy, no matter how experienced or inexperienced they are in the culinary arts. For delicious baked apples, be sure to take a look at our set of two stoneware apple bakers. Simply core an apple, top with brown sugar, cinnamon, sugar and/or raisins and bake in a microwave or an oven for baked apple perfection!

#3: Microwave Magic

The microwave is a magic do-all in the kitchen. It’ll do everything from heat up last night’s hibachi dinner to cook eggs, popcorn and potatoes in minutes. Our microwave cookware is a must-have in any kitchen. Shop microwave corn steamers, microwave egg boilers, and our 20-piece microwave storage sets with lids. Some of our most popular items in our microwave cookware section are our microwave soup mugs with vented lids, microwaveable bowls with lids and our microwave popcorn poppers.

#4: Cool Kitchen Gadgets Galore

At Miles Kimball, we think that the best kitchen gadgets are not just fun — they’re necessities! That’s why we’ve stocked some of the best kitchen tools in the business that will help accommodate every cook. Shop kitchen utensils and holders that will help keep your items all in one place, like our personalized stoneware crock, our personalized spoon rests and our bamboo organizers. Spatulas are always needed in the kitchen, as is a good set of knives and utensils that will withstand the heat of skillets and frying pans. In our measuring, mixing and prep category, measuring cups are always useful in the kitchen — as are good measuring spoon sets. Don’t forget kitchen timers, some good stainless-steel colanders and a good cutting board. Choppers, graters and slicers are also essential. Check out our wildly popular ChopStir™ — a handy food chopper and stirrer in one. From apple peeler/corer/slicers to meat grinders, our kitchen gadgets offer something for everyone’s kitchen.

#5: Kitchen Organization and Storage

Clever kitchen organization and storage has become quite popular. Because of this, however, more and more organization and storage gadgets have come onto the market. Although we offer dozens of kitchen organization and storage items, we have some favorites. These favorites include our reusable plastic bowl covers in a set of 24, which make it easy to keep dishes, bowls and other serving items fresh with elastic covers that are a cinch to put on. Our square and round cracker keepers are great additions to your pantry and will eliminate those stale crackers that are opened and not closed tightly. From food storage containers and refrigerator organizers to freezer labels and storage, storage racks and bins, there’s a kitchen storage solution for just about every organizational challenge.

Miles Kimball

When it comes to must-have kitchen items, Miles Kimball has everything you need to create a well-stocked kitchen. Our website is always an adventure in shopping, and we hope you’ll take a moment to check out our many departments, including items for the home, holidays, personalized gifts, clothing and accessories, hobbies and books, health and beauty, kids, foods and candy and more.

Your Guide to Decorative Garden Stakes

Decorative yard stakes are a fantastic way to add a little something extra to your lawn or garden. You can use them to celebrate holidays, welcome the seasons or let your neighbors know some of your interests. Take a look at these fun and cute garden stakes ideas.

Holiday Stakes

Decorative garden stakes are perfect for celebrating holidays, especially the less prominent ones. Christmas and Halloween involve a lot of decorating to begin with, but what about all the other holidays that pop up throughout the year?

Easter is a holiday that usually isn’t decorated for, but Easter yard stakes can bring some more color to your garden or lawn. With pastel colors and cute characters, they’re sure to catch the eye of anyone passing by. Check out these Easter bunny garden stakes that can be used to greet your guests. 

During July, you can show your patriotic side with some red, white and blue. Garden stakes are a great way to show your pride and celebrate America. You can go a more lively route with something like these patriotic dog stakes or you can choose something on the sophisticated side like these banner star stakes (to the right).

For St. Patrick’s Day, you can bring the luck of the Irish to your house with a personalized leprechaun stake with your last name on it. No matter the holiday, you can find the right garden stake to celebrate with.

Seasonal Decorative Plant Stakes

You can decorate your front yard with garden stakes that fit the season. Spring yard stakes are the perfect addition to your garden because they let you have flowers on display while waiting for your own to grow. Some good choices are tulip stakes or daisy stakes. They will bring some life to your garden and be a preview of what’s to come. If you don’t want flowers, some hummingbird stakes (to the left) will look beautiful in front of your house.

In the summer months, dress up your lawn or garden with beachy garden stakes like these summer boy and girl stakes. They’re a fun way to welcome the warmer months and kick off beach season. If you’re into a summer sport like golf, you can get this golf cart stake featuring solar power headlights that automatically turn on when it gets dark.

For autumn, this harvest truck stake will bring some fall flavor to your yard with the bright pumpkin a red truck bed. Plus, the wheels on the truck spin in the breeze for extra fun. You can swap this yard stake out with an adorable witch stake around Halloween. 

Garden Stakes That Light Up

If you want to add some extra light outside your home, solar-powered decorative plant stakes have you covered. These stakes soak up energy from the sun during the day to power their bulbs once night begins to fall. 

A set of solar balloon stakes can make your yard more festive. Place them along a walkway to light up a path for visitors and guests. You could also go with a color-changing butterfly stake (to the right). It comes with four butterflies that you can adjust with its flexible wires. Best of all, the butterflies put on a show by changing colors. For something more rustic, this metal tractor stake will provide a soft glow with its solar headlights.

Yard Stakes with a Car Theme

Garden stakes can also be terrific decorations for car enthusiasts. There’s no better way to show off your love for classic cars than through some lawn and garden decor.

This antique car stake not only features the font view of an antique car, but it also comes with solar-powered headlights and a welcome sign on the stake. It’s a fantastic way to greet anyone who might stop by your home.

For a sleeker design, a classic car stake is a good choice that will bring some nostalgia to your yard. This stake comes in a beautiful light blue color and the solar headlights turn on automatically at dusk.

The vintage car stake has an iconic yellow design that everyone will recognize. It’s a sturdy decoration that will help you remember the good old days every time you see it. 

CHAPTER 1. Loomings

Call me Ishmael. Some years ago—never mind how long precisely—having little or no money in my purse, and nothing particular to interest me on shore, I thought I would sail about a little and see the watery part of the world. It is a way I have of driving off the spleen and regulating the circulation.

Whenever I find myself growing grim about the mouth; whenever it is a damp, drizzly November in my soul; whenever I find myself involuntarily pausing before coffin warehouses, and bringing up the rear of every funeral I meet; and especially whenever my hypos get such an upper hand of me, that it requires a strong moral principle to prevent me from deliberately stepping into the street, and methodically knocking people’s hats off—then, I account it high time tozz get to sea as soon as I can.

Animal Garden Stakes

Some of the most popular garden stake designs include animals. With choices from farm animals to pets, there’s something for everyone. 

You can stick to the classics with options like a cow yard stake. This stake will look right at home on your lawn. It also comes with a back hook so you can display it on a wall or fence. Another option is a set of duck family stakes. The momma duck comes with three little ducklings, making this decoration perfect for your human family. 

You can go more fantastical with this raincoat cat stake. The whimsical design features a cat standing on two legs in a yellow raincoat and holding an umbrella over its head. As a bonus, this yard stake doubles as a rain gauge because the cat holds a little glass jar to collect water. 

For those with a flair for the dramatic, a gorgeous peacock stake will take center stage in your lawn or garden. This brightly colored stake will draw the attention of all your neighbors and have your yard looking great. 

Other Yard and Garden Decorations

Don’t stop at just garden stakes when it comes to decorating your yard. At Miles Kimball, we have a wide selection of outdoor decor to help you make your home look its best. From birdbaths to garden flags, we have what you’re looking for. 

Easter Basket Ideas for All Ages

Pastel colors, chocolate bunnies and brightly dyed eggs are just a few of the things that make Easter such a fun holiday. It wouldn’t be Easter without baskets full of plastic eggs, candy and little toys, though. Depending on who you have on your list, it can be difficult to come up with the right Easter basket stuffers. That’s why we’ve gathered this list of Easter basket ideas for everyone, no matter their age.

Babies 

Easter basket ideas for babies might just be the hardest to come up with. You can’t fill them with all the traditional things like candy and small trinkets and toys, but there are still ways to make those first Easters special for little ones. 

When it comes to babies, it’s a good idea to get a soft, plush Easter basket instead of a woven one. These are safer for infants and will give them a more tactile experience with the basket. With a personalized plush basket, you can also have a cute keepsake that can be held on to for years to remember the baby’s first Easter with. 

Stuffed animals are a great toy to put in a baby’s Easter basket. Any stuffed animal will work, but you can’t go wrong with a plush bunny for the holiday. This will be something the baby can play with, sleep with or have as a personalized decoration in their room.

While babies shouldn’t be given traditional Easter candy, you can still put some special treats in their baskets. Yogurt snacks, applesauce and cereal puffs are perfect sweet treats to help babies celebrate the holiday with you.

Don’t be afraid to include more practical and useful items in a baby Easter basket as well. Pacifiers, teething rings and bottles are wonderful additions to a basket, especially if you can find Easter and spring-themed ones. You can also never go wrong with Easter clothing like hats or shirts. 

Toddlers

Coming up with Easter basket ideas for toddlers is a little easier. They are at an age where they can enjoy more sweets and play with more toys than they could in their infant years. However, it’s still a good idea to go with a soft personalized Easter basket in case it ends up getting thrown around. Having one with a stuffed animal backing will also give them something to play with. 

Toddlers can have more fun with the toys in their baskets, but you want to avoid anything that’s too small and can pose a choking hazard. Wind up bunny toys are an Easter staple and will keep your toddler entertained for hours as they watch it hop around the floor. An Easter flip doll will give toddlers a two-in-one plush toy perfect for Easter storytelling and adventures. 

You want to be careful with what candy you include in your toddler’s basket, staying away from hard candies. However, jelly beans and chocolate are Easter classics that make for good egg and basket stuffers. Put the jelly beans in an Easter treat jar to combine candy and fun. 

Teens

Teenagers may think they’re too cool for Easter baskets, but deep down they still want one. Finding Easter basket ideas for teens that they will enjoy can be hard. You need to find the right balance of fun without being cheesy. You’ll want to go with a more sophisticated wicker Easter basket. This lets you give them a traditional basket without it being something they’ll see as too childish. 

Teens likely aren’t going to want the same toys you gave them as children, such as sidewalk chalk, bubbles and dolls. However, a classic personalized stuffed bunny is something they can keep on a shelf or place on their bed. Tiny versions of toys they used to have growing up are also a great option. Toys like the World’s Smallest™ Magic 8 Ball ® will give them the nostalgia of an old toy but in a cooler form. 

Candy is the easiest part of a teen’s Easter basket. Simply find your teen’s favorite candy or chocolate to fill the basket. You can also get creative and surprise your teen with something different. A milk chocolate dinosaur egg will appear to be a traditional chocolate Easter egg, but when you’re teen looks inside they’ll be amused to find three miniature chocolate dinosaurs. It’s exactly the kind of twist a teen Easter basket needs. 

Adults

Don’t leave the adults out of all the Easter time fun. Easter basket ideas for adults might look a little different than those for kids and teens. 

Instead of toys, look for trinkets and decorations you can put in an adult’s Easter basket. Spring themed figurines are something fun you can include. They will look great on a friend’s or family member’s knickknack shelf. Another unique idea for adults is an Easter-themed picture frame. If they have kids, this is a wonderful way for them to remember those special Easters by. For more religious adults, you can include a beautiful Easter suncatcher with a Christian poem on it. 

Adults are just as into sweet treats as the kids, so don’t leave the candy out of their baskets. You might want to choose something other than candy necklaces and bubble gum, though. Some good candy ideas of adults are dark chocolate marshmallow eggs and coconut bonbons

Holiday Supplies for Easter and Beyond

Miles Kimball has you covered when it comes to supplies for holidays and special occasions. From Christmas to Mother’s Day, we’ve got what you need to celebrate. 

Slow Cooker Holiday Recipes & Helpful Hints

Crock-Pots and slow cookers became extremely popular in the 1970s. Subsequently, they dwindled to near extinction before recently undergoing a revival. The best thing about the resurgence of this handy appliance is that now, there are so many more options in slow cooker design (e.g. both manual and digital models, ceramic or stoneware insets, availability of non-stick coatings such as Teflon, portable models and even choices in lid design). During seasons when the weather is cold, and at busy times around the holidays, slow cookers can be invaluable for the following reasons:

  • Nutritious and balanced one-pot meals can be prepared inside a slow cooker, cutting down on meal prep time.
  • Slow cooker recipes can be set up hours in advance, allowing a hot meal to be ready and waiting for you when you come home from work or school.
  • Crock-Pots and slow cookers don’t heat up a kitchen the way an oven can. They also utilize less electricity, cutting down on your energy usage.
  • The slowness of the cooking process helps to tenderize less expensive cuts of meat.

Obviously, for people with hectic schedules, the timesaving aspects of slow cooking can be a huge benefit. You may be surprised at the number and variety of mouth-watering recipes that can be made with this relatively low-cost appliance. Below are some suggestions on making meat, soups and stews, and desserts in a slow cooker, and a few yummy recipes to check out:

Meat Dishes:

  • All types of meat can be slow-cooked, even whole chickens and large cuts of beef, but for better taste and texture, choose meats that have a firmer texture and are higher in fat, such as chuck roasts, short ribs, pork shoulders, lamb shanks and dark meat chicken. The extra fat makes the meat tender and flavorful when cooked with the moist, low heat of a slow cooker. Leaner meats like chicken breasts and pork tenderloin tend to dry out with when slow-cooked.
  • Another tip with meat is to trim the excess fat; otherwise, you’ll wind up with your meal stewing in an unappetizing, greasy liquid. This includes removing the skin from chicken, too.
  • If you are cooking meat along with vegetables (potatoes, carrots and onions work well in a slow cooker), make sure you layer the vegetables on the bottom of the cooker and put the meat on top.
  • Finally, consider browning your meat and sautéing the vegetables before you put them into the slow cooker. The payoff is food with an extra layer of rich, caramelized flavor.

Try these delicious meat recipes:

Slow Cooker Turkey — Perfect for holiday meals.

Slow Cooker Thai Chicken Meatballs — These make a delicious appetizer or holiday potluck dish.

Crock Pot Ham with Brown Sugar Glaze — Another holiday meal crowd-pleaser.

Soups and Stews:

Combine colder weather with an active family and a crockpot, and voilà — delicious slow cooker stews make the perfect mealtime solution. Stews can be a combination of meat and vegetables, as in Slow Cooker Beef Stew, or tasty vegetarian dishes like Classic Lasagna and Slow Cooker Stuffed Peppers.

  • Remember, avoid opening the lid of your cooker while in operation, as this can add considerably to the cooking time required.
  • Regarding cooking time and slow cooker settings, it generally takes twice as long to cook a dish on the “low” setting as on “high.” Different recipes call for specific settings to yield the best results.

Soup is another Crock-Pot-friendly dish which can be made using any of countless recipes, with or without meat. To make it even easier, consider using a pre-prepared soup mix, possibly even adding a few additional ingredients of your own. A couple of holiday soup classics to make in a slow cooker include Healthy Crockpot Potato Soup with Chicken and Easy Crockpot Vegetable Lentil Soup.

Desserts:

There is no skimping on decadence when using a slow cooker to make desserts. Crockpots are excellent for making moist cakes and crumbles, and even some kinds of pies, cookie bars and fudge. People with experience using slow cookers to make desserts comment on how easy it can be: “Just dump all the ingredients in and let the slow cooker do the work.” Of course, we love that.

Since the holidays go hand-in-hand with sweet indulgences, check out these recipes:

Slow Cooker Hot Fudge Turtle Brownies — Fulfills every sweet-tooth

Slow Cooker Blueberry Cobbler — Serve a la mode with vanilla ice cream or your favorite whipped cream.

Cookies and Cream Slow Cooker Fudge — Perfect homemade gift

If you threw away your slow cooker sometime during the ‘80s, it’s time to get a new one and try some of the recent recipes made possible with improvements in this appliance. Think of all the gift-wrapping and Santa-letter-writing you could do while your dinner or party recipe is taking care of itself inside your Crock-Pot.